Atacama Desert, 2018. Image by Xandra van der Eijk.
We are interested in voices in research, art, media and design that concern themselves with planetarity and its futures. That is, the ways in which people(s), life, and other beings on earth negotiate its alterity. As such, we are committed to seeking out, understanding, spending time with and reckoning with the actions called for by voices of scholarship and organisation that would seek to go beyond the ‘management of diversity’ (Andrea N. Baldwin) and ‘index[es] of white supremacist domination’ (Romy Opperman). For the 2022 discussion group series, PLANETARY ECOLOGIES: Critical, Positional Environmentalisms and Intersectional Metabolics, we propose open, collaborative and safe encounters between texts, media and voices outside the canon of white-hetero-patriarchal academic (eco)critique.

Critical environmentalisms are necessarily intersectional. Feminist scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw is amongst those who have used the term “intersectionalism” to address the multiple and related silencings, exclusinos and oppressions that face women, people of colour, indigenous people and other non-Eurocentric, colonial experiences and traditions. An intersectional environmentalism would demand multifaceted understandings of the ecological injustice and metabolic privilege that disproportionately diminishes and hurt these communities.

Examples are all-too familiar. The effects of climate change and environmental disasters are much more immediate in the Global South than in the Global North. People of underrepresented communities or living in marginalized neighborhoods are unduly affected by resources crises, contaminations, and ecological disasters. Leah Thomas (@intersectionalenvironmentalist) urges us to identify and rectify the ways in which the injustices befalling such communities are also those that also harm the planet and its ecologies.

Adding to the Western scientific orientations of Anthropocene discussions, discourses on metabolism, energy exchange and planetary health and wellbeing, and to the question of liability, responsibility and risk, PLANETARY ECOLOGIES, develops a set of encounters of co-reading and collaborative learning, open invitations to deliberation and discussion of a diverse range of contemporary authors and issues.

It is incorrect to attribute responsibility for the alterations of liveable environments on Earth to the whole of the human species. Intersectional, perspectival and non-mainstream viewpoints need to be studied, discussed and acted upon toward more equitable distributions of responsibility, discourse, and directions. It is the responsibility of those who have often overlooked marginalized voices, within and without academia, to do the work of studying, learning and listening. PLANETARY ECOLOGIES looks toward transforming the ways in which we understand interconnected social, political, personal and ecological oppressions.

Current Topics & Sessions

(Readings and guest to follow via the group’s email)

April 1st, 2022 / 15.00–17.00 (CET)
Planetary Ecologies 2022: Opening session, introduction and discussion of how we would like to proceed.

April 15th, 2022 / 15.00–17.00 (CET)
Environmental Blockchain: Interactions between digital contracts, currencies, hardwares, ecological governance and ecologies.

May 6th, 2022 / 15.00–17.00 (CET)
Intersectional Apocalypse: Climate justice or why the end of the world already happened in many places.

May 20, 2022 / 15.00–17.00 (CET)
The Nature of Spectacle: Making, Marketing, and Managing Nature.

June 3rd, 2022 / 15.00–17.00 (CET)
Pluriversality
Many worlds radically coexisting within a decolonization of ecologies: thinking and feeling at a planetary scale through indigenous wisdom and Southern Hemisphere futurisms.

June 10th, 2022 / 15.00–17.00 (CET)
Metabolic Integrity, Metabolic Aesthetics, Metabolic Privilege: The roots, arts, and repercussions of energy and material exchanges, those that allow for the existence of life and nonlife.